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NIFA Programs Tackle Antimicrobial Resistance

Nifa Author
Rachel Dotson, Public Affairs Specialist (Social Media)

November 18-24 serves as World Antimicrobial Awareness Week. Program organizers world-wide strive to increase awareness of global antimicrobial resistance. According to the World Health Organization, best practices to avoid the further emergence and spread of drug-resistant infection are encouraged among the public, health workers, and policy makers.

USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) supports agricultural research focused on addressing antimicrobial resistance (AMR), reducing potential negative impacts from using antibiotics, and identifying alternative strategies for mitigating AMR in the food chain. The goal is to reduce or negate any bleak effects of antimicrobials used in agriculture that may adversely affect the treatment of human diseases.

NIFA funds antimicrobial resistance projects through the Agricultural Food and Research Initiative (AFRI). In addition to AFRI funding, NIFA has funded competitive and non-competitive projects on antimicrobial resistance through Hatch and Evan's Allen programs, the National Research Initiative's program, and the National Integrated Food Safety Initiative's Competitive Grants Program to improve understanding of antimicrobial resistance. 

Below is a sampling of NIFA-funded projects.

Harmful Bacteria Hiding in Livestock; Traditional Methods Aren’t Finding Them
Growing resistance to science's go-to antibiotics is one of the biggest threats the world faces. As common bacteria like strep and salmonella become resistant to medications, what used to be easily treatable infections can now pose medical challenges. New research from the University of Georgia shows that there may be more antimicrobial-resistant salmonella in our food animals than scientists previously thought.

University of Tennessee Removing Antibiotics from Septic Systems
As part of a Multistate Research Fund Impacts Program, University of Tennessee scientists identified oxidizers like chlorine & UV light that remove antibiotics from septic system wastewater, helping prevent the emergence of antibiotic resistant microbes.

Follow along in NIFA’s Newsroom to stay up to date on the latest funding and impact news related to antimicrobial resistance.

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